💰tip ($3.07 in tips)
Mack’s organization, CSPOA, is made up of hundreds of elected county sheriffs and their supporters who promote the idea that sheriffs have the power to refuse to enforce laws they deem to be unconstitutional—like, say, virtually all gun control laws. Mack believes that county sheriffs have more power than the president of the United States.“He’s had more success in bringing anti-government ideas to law enforcement than anyone else,” says Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism who recently published a research report on Mack and CSPOA.Recently, CSPOA members have made headlines for refusing to enforce state mask mandates and they’ve played a leading role in some communities challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election. A 2016 CSPOA “sheriff of the year,” Michigan’s Dar Leaf, went so far as to try to recruit other “constitutional sheriffs” to help him try to seize Dominion voting machines last year.Mack has been a familiar face on the (liberty) circuit since the mid-1990s, when he first emerged as a Second Amendment activist. He has been doing events like the one in Maryland promoting the supremacy of the county sheriff for more than a decade. In 2011, a group called Patriots of Gillespie County, in Fredericksburg, Texas, hired him to start CSPOA to focus on recruiting law enforcement into the patriot movement. The group moved him and his wife to Texas, where he also made an unsuccessful run at unseating the incumbent GOP congressman, Lamar Smith. But since the beginning of the pandemic, he tells me, he’s been in high demand as sheriffs have been asked to enforce the “tyranny of the good intentions of our leaders” and their public health mandates.What’s also new for Mack ... is that this year, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) approved CSPOA to provide official trainings that officers need to maintain their proficiency certificates. So have 10 other states, according to Mack, including Virginia, Montana, and South Carolina. ... “He’s had more success in bringing anti-government ideas to law enforcement than anyone else.” Founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Richard Mack, enters a fray between Black Lives Mater protesters and attendees at the Back the Blue rally in Albany, NY.Zach D Roberts/NurPhoto/AP ...He then tells the well-honed story about how, as an elected sheriff in Graham County, Arizona—he was a Democrat at the time—he hadn’t set out to become a national gun activist. In fact, until he was elected sheriff, he’d never even owned a firearm. “I never could figure out why you’d want to go hunting when you could go play golf,” he says as the crowd laughs appreciatively. But in 1994, Congress passed the Brady Bill, a landmark gun control measure that would have required him, under threat of criminal penalties, to conduct background checks on people trying to buy handguns. He was outraged and rang up the National Rifle Association.Soon Mack became the first sheriff to file suit over the Brady Bill. “Of all the people who sued Bill Clinton, I was the only one who did it on a non-sexual matter,” he deadpans. His case went to the US Supreme Court, which in a 1997 decision written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, found that the gun law violated the state’s rights provisions of the 10th Amendment and ruled in Mack’s favor. He now sells annotated copies of the decision at his speaking events. (“You know how much this cost me?” he asked me earlier, waving one of the pamphlets. “$400,000!” referring to the legal fees in the case. “But you can have three for $5.”) ...His spiel in Maryland is an odd jumble of civics lesson, Thomas Paine quotes, and ... pop culture references. According to Mack, sheriffs have the power to kick IRS or USDA agents out of a county, where he says federal officers have no jurisdiction. To drive home his point about why citizens might need the local sheriff to do this, he shows the Maryland audience a news clip about a man whose door had been kicked in by agents serving a US Department of Education warrant to collect a student loan debt.At one point he plays a clip of Angela Bassett in the 2002 made-for-TV movie The Rosa Parks Story to illustrate why he believes that a “constitutional sheriff” would never have kicked Rosa Parks off that famous bus. Instead, he would have escorted Parks safely home, thanked her for her bravery, and ensured that her husband had a loaded gun in the house. Despite his fondness for invoking Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. in his public appearances, Mack has won few fans among civil rights activists, largely because of comments like the one in his 1996 book, From My Cold Dead Fingers: Why America Needs Guns, in which he wrote that “the Reverend Jesse Jackson types and the NAACP have done more to enslave Afro-Americans than all the southern plantation owners put together.”Over the course of 90 minutes, he covers everything from sex scandals at the Drug Enforcement Agency to the Agriculture Department’s persecution of the Amish for selling raw milk. He rails against the tyranny of government requiring “face diapers” and vaccine mandates and claims hospitals have fabricated statistics about the number of people who have died of COVID. ... He tells the group that his presentation is very similar to what he teaches in the sanctioned continuing ed classes for law enforcement, minus some deeper dives into things like civil asset forfeiture.“People who say I’m radical, I’m an extremist, I’m dangerous, I promote violence,” Mack preaches to the crowd. “Let’s make this very clear right now: I had never promoted violence or advocated violence. Ever. In 20 years of law enforcement, I never even slapped or slugged another human being. I never shot anybody or maced anybody. I never hit somebody with my nightstick. I’ve never attacked, hurt or maimed any human being ever. But yet the Southern Poverty Law Center has me down as a domestic terrorist!”He looks over at Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, who’s shaking his head. “Oh, you’re one, too?” Mack asks with a laugh. “Congratulations! Anybody who believes in the Constitution, you’ll make their list!”“There is a God! Our rights come from Him!” the crowd chants. “The purpose of civil government is to protect God given rights!” ...Peroutka tells the crowd that he always teaches sheriffs and other law enforcement that “the purpose of civil government is not to make you wear a seatbelt.” ... “When a peace officer refuses to enforce an unconstitutional enactment or order,” he explains, “a peace officer is not breaking the law but upholding the law.”“And who is empowered to decide what the law is?” he continues. “The sheriff. The source of law is not what some judge wrote last week. Law comes from God.” ... “Unjust laws are not laws,” he says. ...“Roe v. Wade isn’t law,” he noted. “It’s just an opinion.” ...Or consider KrisAnne Hall, a former Florida assistant state prosecutor who was part of the “Stop the Steal” movement... Hall has appeared at a League of the South event and teaches that the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments—the core of virtually all civil rights laws in the US—were an “unlawful expansion of federal power.” Her connection with Mack? She’s taught classes on such subjects as “The Importance of the American Sheriff” at at least three of Mack’s Texas law enforcement trainings this year. ...If there was any doubt that the state has endorsed Mack’s trainings, though, on October 23rd, the top law enforcement for the entire state of Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton, addressed the CSPOA conference in Mesquite, Texas. “It’s legitimate law enforcement training,” Mack insists when I ask him about the Texas endorsement. “We are the only ones who teach the oath of office.” ...He got his start in law enforcement in the 1970s, after serving an LDS mission in Guatemala and El Salvador. While he finished his degree in Latin American studies at Brigham Young University, he worked as a part-time “meter-maid” in the Provo, Utah, police department, doling out parking tickets. Mack’s father had been an FBI agent in Arizona for 25 years, and young Richard had hoped to follow in his footsteps but didn’t make the cut. An avid athlete, he liked the Provo police department’s softball team and ended up spending 11 years there as a full-time cop, even doing undercover drug busts—experience that taught him to loathe the “war on drugs.”He told me that, like his father, he had once been a law-and-order sort of man, with deep respect for the government. But things started to take a deeper turn, two years after his father left the FBI, when the IRS audited him over $6,000 (which Mack says his father didn’t owe). “It took a huge chunk of his trust in the government he devoted 30 years of his life to,” Mack had told the Maryland audience.The IRS audit clearly left a mark, but Mack’s “conversion to constitutionalism” really came from W. Cleon Skousen... Skousen had served as the Salt Lake City chief of police from 1956 to 1960 and had worked at the FBI with Mack’s father. One day, Mack saw a flyer at the police department advertising Skousen’s two-day training on “Constitutional Studies for Law Enforcement Officers.” Mack attended and was hooked. After 11 years in Provo, Mack went back home to Graham County, Arizona, and ran for sheriff in 1988. He won and served for the next eight years. ...But since the pandemic started, business has been booming. He had to quit his teaching job in November because of the renewed demand for his public appearances.Even so, he says he does a lot of his events for free, and he tries to keep ticket costs under $100, mostly to cover food at the trainings. CSPOA is not a nonprofit. Initially, it got some money from the John Birch Society and Gun Owners of America but now Mack says it’s funded mainly by membership dues from people who join his “posse,” fees from his public speaking, and the occasional surprise donation from a fan. His recent tour in Texas, which involved several law enforcement trainings, was underwritten by wealthy businessman Gary Heavin, the founder of the defunct Curves fitness chain, who was also a speaker and is reported to have contributed to the Oath Keepers. Mack says he’s stopped bothering to ask the NRA to sponsor tables at his conferences because it has never given CSPOA a dime.Mack has earned a loyal following in the West among Sagebrush Rebellion types who oppose federal control of public lands and believe they should be turned over to the states—a view Mack supports. He’s an old associate of another famous Western anti-government Mormon and Skousen devotee, Cliven Bundy. When Bundy made national news in 2014 for orchestrating an armed standoff with the Bureau of Land Management, Mack famously told Fox News that he had strategized with supporters to “put all the women up at the front.” He said, “If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”In 2016, Mack was in Burns, Oregon, for a rally supporting ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond when Cliven’s son Ammon led an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to protest the ranchers’ incarceration on arson charges. Mack claims he was unaware of the takeover plans; he never set foot in the refuge. He later testified in Bundy’s trial that he’d urged the occupiers to leave the refuge before someone got killed. (They didn’t and someone did.) The Bundys were arrested and charged with a variety of federal offenses for both the Oregon and Nevada standoffs, none of which resulted in a conviction, but Mack escaped unscathed. He credits 22 years in law enforcement for his survival instinct.That instinct also kept him from going to DC on January 6. He’d had many invitations to attend, but says, “I just saw that it was too much emotion coming from Trump supporters and so many of ‘em thought he was going to give a huge announcement that he was going to stay in office. I thought that was stupid. I told people not to go. Our official stand was stay home.”Under the trees in Maryland, Mack shows me a photo of his longest golf drive on a beat-up iPhone and tells me about playing basketball with one of his 15 grandchildren. With his easy laugh and Mormon earnestness, he reminds me a little of his friend Ammon Bundy, another charming Westerner considered a domestic terrorist. ...Mack does not think that proximity equals guilt. He insists that even the Southern Poverty Law Center has had to concede that he’s never made a racist comment. But what about his association with Peroutka, the former board member of the neo-confederate League of the South? “I’ve never heard of the League of the South,” he tells me. As for Peroutka, “I’ve never heard him say anything racist.” ...And what of the recently deceased anti-Semite Robert David Steele? Mack says that Steele had said so many crazy things—including about Mormons, which Mack found offensive—he couldn’t imagine anyone would take him seriously. Still, during the “Arise USA” tour, Steele’s erratic behavior and anti-Mormon bigotry had made Mack so uncomfortable he had decided to step back. Then Steele got sick. With a smile, Mack says he preferred to spend his time palling around with “that racist” Kevin Jenkins, a Black anti-vaccine activist who was also featured on the tour. ...During the lunch break, a man at my table gives me an unprompted tutorial on the “war between the states,” and insists that the Emancipation Proclamation was unnecessary because the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. “It was about tyranny,” St. Mary’s County resident John Lee tells me. When I ask where he learned this particular view of American history, he replies that it was from another one of Peroutka’s classes on the Constitution. “We’re being taught [the Civil War] was based in race,” he insists. “It was not based in race.”After an hour chatting affably with Mack under the bright October sun, I realize that many of Mack’s contradictions stem from the fact that he is an equal opportunity evangelizer—or publicity hound, depending on your perspective. He will talk to or appear with virtually anyone—including Mother Jones, an outlet he makes clear he doesn’t think much of. He says he’d talk to the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center or the NAACP if they asked. They don’t, of course...“I have assailed racism my entire life, I assail it in all of my speeches,” he tells me later, when I ask him to respond to the charge from groups like the ADL that he fraternizes with white supremacists. He complains that his critics never seemed to have a problem with Democrats like Joe Biden associating with the late Democratic senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, who had been a “grand poobah” of the Ku Klux Klan. “I’m the racist? Yeah, right. There’s a different standard for Washington politicians,” he says. “You’ve never seen me rubbing elbows with Robert Byrd.” (Byrd died in 2010.)Eventually, we flee the stinkbugs as Mack is summoned back to the podium for an afternoon question and answer session. By then, he’s been at FoamWorks for hours, and seems in no hurry to leave. He fields questions about whether citizens should form a posse to take the law into their own hands—he hedges on that one—or how to make sure that a sheriff is really “constitutional.” He poses for selfies and sells more books before finally signing off. “God bless you,” he tells his fans, “as you defend liberty for my 15 grandchildren.”
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L.A. County Sheriff Rebuffs Los Angeles' Mandatory Wuhan Virus Regime After Disturbing Information ArisesBy Bonchie | Nov 30, 2021
And he's coming to the Bay Area!
At first I was a bit put off by the $25 fee, but the more I read about him the more I think it's a bargain.
Saturday Nov 20, 2021 12-2pm
Memorial Part Amphitheater
21251 Stevens Creed Blvd, Cupertino, CA